LORIS, SC (WMBF) – Three men were sentenced this week after reportedly robbing a family decorating their home for the holidays in December 2012, then crashing their stolen car into someone's home while running from police.
Troy Gibson, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and armed robbery Friday before a Circuit Court Judge, who sentenced Gibson to 18 years in prison for each offense. He must serve over 15 years of that sentence before he will be eligible for parole.
Maurice Morris, 22, and K'Shawn Morris, 20, were each sentenced to 10 years for their roles in the home invasion. They must each serve 8.5 years of their sentences before they will be eligible for parole.
After the home invasion reported on the 700 block of Camp Swamp Road in Loris on Saturday, Dec. 1, authorities issued a "be on the lookout" for a stolen 2007 Toyota Yaris with West Virginia plates.
According to the incident report from Horry County Police, that car was spotted running a stop sign as it turned onto Freemont Road from Pine Needle Estates.
The officer that spotted the stolen vehicle activated his blue lights, and followed the car, which was driving in the wrong lane. The car, the report states, continued to accelerate, turning on to Harris Road where the occupants abandoned the vehicle in motion.
The vehicle then crashed into a home as the suspects took off on foot down a dirt path behind a home.
Hearing gunshots, the officer was able to catch up to one of the suspects, K'Shawn Aldontay Morris. The other two men got away.
The victims of the home invasion reported earlier in the evening that three males held them at gunpoint, forcing them to lie on the ground while they ransacked their home.
WMBF News spoke to the victims, who asked not be on camera. The victims said they were decorating the family Christmas tree Saturday night when three masked, armed men entered the Loris home.
The victims said the men separated the parents from the children before robbing them, and stealing one of their vehicles.
The suspects reportedly absconded with an Xbox 360, Kinect, two jewelry boxes with jewelry, two men's watches, a portable DVD player, medicines, cell phones, keys and the car.
Neighbors near the crime scene say home invasions and burglaries are becoming more and more commonplace because of limited police patrols and close proximity to the North Carolina Border.
"We don't have many police patrols out here," said neighbor John Gerald. "You've got at least 20 or 30 minutes for someone to respond out here."
Morris was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Maurice Alexander Morris and Troy Tereal Gibson were identified and arrested on the following day.